Pentax K-50 Review

September 16, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 M.

I don’t know what to say… I downloaded one of the library Raw images. While colours are pleasant, the barrel distortion is horrible, as well as the lack of sharpness at the borders (not to mention the corners). Even at the centre, the images are quite soft. And the JPEGs are overprocessed and noisy at 400 ISO. Definitely one to shoot Raw, needs better lenses.

11:03 pm - Monday, September 16, 2013

#2 dan

Never found Pentax noisy but then i never shot raw with mine. Have to completely agree about the lenses, i have never been impressed with their general lens quality.  I always ended up buying Sigmas. Really hoping Ricoh can improve the lens lineup (give me some more Q lenses Ricoh!).

8:54 am - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

#3 Steve

This is effectively a more subdued looking k30, which is an excellent camera and offers great value for the price. If you put a good lens on it the image quality is really stand out. I often use the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 lens on my k30 and am amazed with its performance.

9:46 am - Thursday, September 19, 2013

#4 Best DSLR Camera

detail post I hope K50 willbe my next one

7:43 pm - Thursday, September 19, 2013

#5 Tord S Eriksson

My wife’s K-30 is an amazing update of my K-x, and this is just a step further! Far better than my old K-5, that really didn’t produce the images it should!

10:10 pm - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

#6 Sophocles

I’m going to buy a K-50. Does anyone know if my Pentax-A 35-80mm fits in K-50’s body?

7:46 pm - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

#7 Tord S Eriksson

Pretty sure it will fit, but better ask someone at Pentax!

10:33 am - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#8 Dave C

ANy Pentax K-mount lens ever made, in fact almost all K-mount lenses made by anybody will work on your K50. That’s the advantage of Pentax!

10:57 am - Saturday, May 10, 2014

#9 Jim

After selling my Olympus DSLR a couple years ago and since been using a Canon bridge camera I have researched the heck right out of camera’s and at different times was ready to buy other camera’s, but held off because of a gut feeling and something just kept saying no… After going back and forth lately between the K-3, K-5 series, K-50, K-500.  I have ordered the K-50… Here is why: 1) Price, 2) Weather shield, 3) Image stabilization, 4) Image quality. The image quality is very minor between the above mentioned cameras.  K-3 24 megapixel vs K-50 16 megapixel, what you find is very little difference in quality because the K-3 pixel size is smaller 15.2 um(squared) vs K-50 pixel size of 22.9 um(squared) (about the same size pixel found in Nikon full frame D810)... Lacking some minor features that were not important to me I opted for the Pentax K-50.. Hear is what I was able to get Pentax K-50 w/18-55mm WR, 50-200mm WR, 32 gig memory card, Pentax AF-200FG P-TTL (swapped this flash out for a Bower SFD926P - $30 upgrade).  All for under $680.00… To me that is excellent bang for your bucks… especially since the K-3 image quality on one site was 80 and the K-50 was rated 79… Almost the same and close enough for me… And the Nikon D7100 rated at 83… (but a lot more money too)... I am a happy camper and the K-50 will do just fine for what I want to do with it… And I even have beer money left over, for those special times - for everything else there is Master Card… hahaha

11:34 pm - Monday, September 15, 2014

#10 Tord S Eriksson

I think you’ll be happy with your K-50 (which is mainly a repackaged K-30)!

Were out yesterday photographing birds, the wife using her K-30 + HD DA55-300, and me mainly using my Nikon V2 + her 70-300CX (took some with my D600 + 80-400 VR, too).

For BIF (birds in flight) she won the competition easily, while on the ground, and the water, the longer relative focal length of the lens on the V2 (crop factor 2.7), compared to the K-30’s (crop factor 1.5) was a big help.

Hope you’ll have a lot of fun with your kit!

12:02 pm - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#11 Jim

Thanks Tord.

Yesterday I spent the day just as a discovery day with the camera.
I did reprogram the AF button to be AE lock instead, makes more sense to me for what I do and how I like to do it.
Gonna check into the RAW button to see if I can create a shortcut for something I may use more frequently.
Other than that the two lenses seem to be ok and doing their job.  No complaints with them.  The 50-200mm seems to be the one for outside trolling lens while the 18-55mm more for indoors… The 15-135mm would have been great as the carry around trolling lens but being poor I just didn’t have the bucks to go that route.  So I will make do with what I have and my smile will be just as big… It is the activity that is the most important thing anyway…
Crazy thing with the flash though.  I wasn’t paying too much attention but it seemed at first to work fine in TTL.  Then when I used TTL the pictures were like no flash at all even though it fired - seems to be firing before or after the shutter… However, here is the crazy part… If I put the flash in manual mode and set the zoom to auto the darn thing functions like TTL in that it auto zooms with the lens and picks up my ISO and aperture settings… Crazy eh?
Gonna mess with it some more and try to figure out if something went sideways (if so maybe return it for an exchange)... Oh well…

3:48 pm - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#12 Jim

As I mentioned before the flash seemed to get quirky - I did do the firmware update from 1.00 to 1.02.. maybe the firmware affected the flash operation…  Maybe, Pentax changed some setting with relationship to TTL and the flash was programed to a different firmware version… I don’t have a clue… hahaha

3:51 pm - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#13 Jim

Latest update - within a week I took about 2000 pictures and have no complaints at all… Many will say that the kit lenses are crap - I disagree.. Although a little soft around the edges - I look at this as a positive and not a negative… There are in camera setting to aid in sharpening pictures adjusting noise level etc.. The soft edges with the kit lenses are like auto-bokeh… lol… They force the viewer to focus on your subject instead of being distracted by something around the edges… I view this as a plus and use it to my advantage… With photography you want to emphasize your subject matter while at the same time try to de-emphasize the surrounding.. The soft edges of the kit lenses just make that task a little easier… My feelings are that you get more exciting and less boring pictures when you de-emphasize things that surround your subject… Bokeh does this exact thing… So the bottom line is - I find the kit lenses extremely useful and not crap at all.. But then again I use it to my advantage and take some nice exciting pictures and don’t spend all my time “pixel peeping” or worrying about if the top left hand corner pixel is as sharp as the center one (I don’t want it to be).. hahaha

9:50 pm - Monday, September 29, 2014

#14 Jim

This is for (M.) - I find your comments a little strong.  Do you base your evaluation on pictures that you took with your K-50 or someone elses pictures?
Let me help you out a little.  There is in camera setting for noise level at all ISO settings… so if you choose you can have NO processing for noise at any setting… Also in the camera there are setting and adjustments for barrel distortions as well as pincushion distortion… And a step further there is in camera adjustments for lateral chromatic aberrations.  There is also in camera adjustments for sharpness as well as other tuning adjustments…
And yes the camera is very capable of taking advantage of higher quality lenses but that is not to say that the kit lenses are crap because they are not and if you use the lenes to your advantage then they can produce striking results… Once someone takes the camera off of “Auto” mode, then wonderful things start to happen…
Once you make your settings and then put the results on paper with a printed picture you will be hard pressed (with your naked eye) to tell if the picture was taken with a K-50, K-3, or a full frame DSLR… Kit lens or otherwise… But blow the picture up 800% on a computer and concentrate on one pixel in the top corner and yea maybe there is a difference…
I you evaluated someone elses pictures maybe they didn’t make any of these in camera setting…
And there is no noise at 400iso It only starts to appear at around 3200 when blown up and viewed on a computer and can NOT be noticed on printed paper with the naked eye to the point of having any distraction value to the quality… It still is an acceptable print..
Quality of the paper print is what it is all about isn’t it?
My opinion is: - to heck with the lab test they only show data - the proof is in the final print to paper results..  The K-50 is no slouch even with a kit lens and holds it’s own very well amongst the competition… And superior in many ways…
The video stinks… hahaha

10:30 pm - Monday, September 29, 2014

#15 Jim

Let me explain my last comment in the last post.
The video quality is not what stinks it is the noise from the focus in the lens.
I understand why Pentax didn’t make it continuous auto focus in video - do you really want to listen to an electric drill every few seconds… lol
I didn’t get the K=50 for video I got it for stills.. I have another camera for video and it has a quiet power zoom (24-840mm to be exact) and a quiet focus to boot… It does what I need (I only took two videos in several years -15 years maybe)... hahaha
I would not care if the K-50 had no video I would still have bought it…

10:57 pm - Monday, September 29, 2014

#16 Judith

Just bought a brand new Pentax k50 camera with 18-135 lens.It looks like I have problem with the Mode Dial on the top of the camera.When I set it to Auto it stays in Movie mode. When I set it to Scene (SN)
it will be in User 1(U1)mode. It’s perfectly aligned
With the white indicator line. All the other modes are correct, corresponding to the letters on the dial, just those 2.
Do you think it’s a hardware or software problem? Tried many things, but it won’t change.
Anybody experienced that same problem,is there a fix, or should I return it to the dealer? Thanks

6:21 am - Monday, November 3, 2014

#17 Jim

You could try to reset the camera (menu #3 under the wrench icon) and also reset the the custom functions (menu #4 under the C icon).  Also, download and install the firmware update v-1.02.  If that doesn’t fix it, then ya probably want to exchange it.
Good luck

9:06 am - Monday, November 3, 2014

#18 ray

I would like to know from those who bought the pentax k50 in general that are you sastified
average over 80% or lower I am planning to byu it but some of the comments live me a bit in the dark.

2:29 pm - Friday, November 14, 2014

#19 adrian

any recommendations of what flash to use with the K-50?

10:33 am - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

#20 Jim

Ray - when you buy anything there can only be 3 results.
1 - you got less than what you paid for.
2 - you got your moneys worth.
3 - you got more than your moneys worth.

Number 3 rarely exist but in the case of the K-50 I feel that it is the bargain of the decade of all cameras, point and shoot to full frame.  You get way more than what you pay and for a camera to to match or better the K-50 is going to cost 2-3 times as much.

Consider this - not one asp-c sensor Canon or Sony can take better pictures than the K-50 and the K-50 is only second to a couple Nikons D5200, D7100.. and even those are so close you could just about say that they are the same.  The K-3 and K-5 are about the same you are looking at 79 vs 80… Canon can’t get over 70 and Sony tops the numbers at 75 for image quality. The Nikons are around 82-84.  From 75 to 84 one could consider that they are just about the same.  So as you can see the K-50 is with some pretty good company and the best part is it cost about 1/2 to 1/3 rd…

Another thing to consider when printing is downsampling - you loose a great deal more with a 24 megapixel camera than a 16 megapixel camera when it is downsampled for printing.  For example lets say that for an 8x10 it takes 8 megapixels (actually 7.1) to downsample a 24 megapixel means that 3 pixels are averaged into 1 (you loose 16 megapixels of resolution).. for the same process on a 16 megapixel camera you average 2 pixels into 1 and only loose 8 megapixels of resolution and the results will be more accurate to the original picture… Both prints would look about the same but if you really want to split hairs then the 16 megapixel will be a slightly better print rendition of the original picture.. You can’t cram 24 megapixels of resolution into 8 megapixels… 8 megapixels is 8 megapixels just as if you took the picture with an 8 megapixel camera… A lot of people get hung up on pixel peeking and the “megapixel myth”.. Physics is physics and math is math.  No matter what someone may say the numbers don’t lie… For the most part just consider review test data as just data and that is all.. When one says that a camera can capture 2800 lines and another only 2700 lines that the 2800 line one is better (technically yes) but consider your eyesight drops off at 100-150 and to your eyes both are the same…

So as many have said in the past only consider megapixels as to the size of print you intend to print.  The K-50 is designed for 13x19.. It can print larger but it will also print smaller prints better than a 24 megapixel camera… If you crop the K-50 for 8 megapixels then you only cut 1/2 the picture out to crop a 24 megapixel to 8 then you are cutting 2/3 of the picture out.. and have a very small area that you actually took a picture off… In the viewfinder of the K-50 there are 3 brackets the two outer brackets is an 8 megapixel crop and you could consider the surrounding area as a border when framing for a shot. 
Go K-50… lol

11:43 am - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

#21 aurelio

Ho ricevuto una Pentax K50 per regalo. Ho trovato il tuo blog cercando una valutazione sulla K50 e mi sono iscritto. Tra le caratteristiche ho letto che possono essere utilizzati gli obiettivi con innesto K. Possiedo una vecchia K1000 e diversi obiettivi. Li ho provati con i seguenti risultati:non funzionano tranne un tele 135 della COSINA che perĂ² funziona solo con diaframma tutto aperto. Negli altri casi la K50 mi lampeggia l’indicatore del diaframma e non consente proprio lo scatto. Per finire indico un obiettivo, il Pentax-M originale 50mm f 1:2 che non funziona.
Spero mi possa dare una spiegazione.
La saluto e mi complimento per la chiarezza delle informazioni trovate sul blog.
Aurelio La Barbera

9:26 am - Monday, January 5, 2015

#22 aurelio

I am so sorry for the comment #21 written in italian. I have rewritten it in english.
I received a Pentax K50 as a gift. I found your blog looking for an assessment of the K50 and I joined. Among the features of the K50, I read that you can use the K-mount lenses. I own an old K1000 and different objectives. I tried them with the following results: do not work except a canvas of 135 Cosina but it only works with aperture fully open. In other cases the diaphragm indicator of the K50 flashes and the camera does not allow its shooting.
Finally, as an example, I point the original lens Pentax-M 50mm f 1: 2 that does not work. I hope you could give an explanation.
I greet and congratulate for the clarity of the information found on blogs.
Aurelio La Barbera

9:42 am - Monday, January 5, 2015

#23 Jim


1) Put your camera in “Manual mode”
2) Goto the custom menu #4, #22 and select #2 to enable “Using Aperture Ring”.
3) Again goto the custom menu #3, #20 and select #2 to enable “Catch-in Focus”.
4) Goto the regular menu #4, select E-Dial Progtamming, then tab #2 and select “M”, move down to the “green button” and change the setting to be “TvShift”
5) On the side of the camera set to “AF.S”
6) Select the aperture that you want from the ring on the lens.
7) On the 4-way on the back of the camera press the top one to select “ISO” - select the iso that you want to use (Don’t set it for Auto-ISO).
8) Point your camera and press the “green button” it will automatically select the shutter speed for you.
9) press the shutter release and hold it while turning the focus ring - when your subject comes in focus the camera will fire…

4:43 pm - Monday, January 5, 2015

#24 Jim


I thought I posted a reply but it doesn’t seem to be showing so lets try it again.

Once you have your K mount lens on then turn on the camera and select the focal length of the lens.

1) On the side of the camera set the auto focus to “AF.S”
2) Select the aperture that you want to use from the dial on the lens.
3) On the 4-way dial on the back of the camera choose the top one “ISO” and set a manual iso to what ever you want to use.

Now you will use the menu button:

4) Navigate to the “Custom Menus” #4, #22 “Using Aperture Ring” and choose #2 “Enable”.
5) Again using the “Custom Menus” #3, #20 “Catch-in “Focus” and turn it “ON” with #2.

Now under the “Camera Menu”:

6) Navigate to #4 and scroll down to “E-Dial Programming”, and move over to tab #2 and select “M”, scroll down to the “green button” and set it for “TvSHIFT”...

Exit out of the menus.

When ready to take a picture point the camera and press the “Green Button”, the camera will auto select the shutter speed it thinks is best.

Now press the shutter button down and hold it down while turning the focus ring on your lens… When the subject comes in focus the camera will fire and take the picture.. If it is already in focus it will just fire…

There is no need to change any setting back when you use a KAF lens… 

5:18 pm - Monday, January 5, 2015

#25 Jack Eisenberg

Best working description of K50 I’ve read.  Very confusing after using a Nikon D80 for six years. But I love the full frame 100%
viewing and bought the camera mainly to use 16mm-45mm lens.
(Need 16mm but all the others are too expensive and/or heavy.)

Here are several problems I’ve been encountering:
1. Sometimes mirror locks up, something I’ve rarely encountered.
2. AEL/AF button can’t be adjusted to keep exposure going
while locking focus.  Unlike Nikon, this drives me crazy.
3. Camera turns off unless otherwise instructed.  When shutter is activated it takes a moment, a very precious time loss for street
photography, before it fires.  Nikon can be set to fire instantaneously the moment shutter is pressed, and I keep it ON for

5:41 pm - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#26 Terry

What about action photography? Will it handle sports like soccer, hockey, basketball and show jumping? Most of what I photograph is moving. I am considering this camera but need more info.

7:08 pm - Sunday, March 22, 2015

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hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, 16 megapixel, full hd, DSLR, prosumer, pentax, dustproof, freezeproof, digital SLR, 6fps, k50 review, Pentax K-50 Review, k-50, k50

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